Upper Park Wood Nature Reserve

Visit Upper Park Wood for fantastic panoramic views of the 'Last of the Summer Wine' countryside of the Holme Valley - a colourful mosaic of meadows, woodland and moorland, as well as a chance to consider man's impact on the environment. A variety of habitats in the nature reserve support a great diversity of species.

Oak wood woodland with an understory of holly and a ground flora rich in bluebells, Upper Park Wood was probably once part of a game park for deer and wild boar, as part of the ancient Manor of Almondbury .


A good network of paths allows you to experience excellent views from the nature reserve, as well as encounter a wide variety of habitats; woodland edge, field and path margins, pond, wet areas, acid grassland, hedges and dry stone walls. The acid nature of the soil is reflected by the plant species growing on the nature reserve, including foxglove, heath bedstraw and sheep’s sorrel which thrive on the site, along with bilberry and heather. The pond was created by damming a stream, and in one of the fields a shallow scrape has also been created.

Top Tip:

An excellent network of paths offers opportunities to explore the wider landscape, including Stirley Community Farm which is less than a mile away. A geology trail starting at Castle Hill passes through the nature reserve.

The south facing hillside lies on the lower coal measures, made up of layers of shale and sandstone, with coal seams above some of the sandstone beds. Until the early 1900s the richer seams were worked along the valley. Evidence of two coal pits can be seen adjacent to the steps up the side of the wood, marked by the profuse growth of Western gorse.

Designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 1987, the site took its name from a tiny remnant of ancient deciduous woodland. Owned by Kirklees Metropolitan Council and managed jointly with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, the site has grown with the acquisition of adjacent fields which have since been planted with a variety of native trees and shrub species. Much of the woodland management is carried out by a group of enthusiastic volunteers with the aim of maintaining and increasing biodiversity where possible.

Public Transport

A bus service passes the nature reserve, or take a bus from Huddersfield to Holmfirth and alight at Honley Bridge then take Northgate. Nearest train station at Honley , an hourly service runs between Huddersfield and Sheffield.

Directions

Approach via Northgate, a left turn off the A616 from Huddersfield , immediately after the A6024 turn-off towards Holmfirth . After a steep climb, of about 0.75 miles you reach a high wall which can be parked against.

Species and habitats

Habitats
Grassland , Ponds , Woodland
Species
English Oak , Broom , Foxglove , Bluebell , Wood-sorrel , Tormentil , Green Woodpecker , Redstart , Red Fox , Stoat

Nearby nature reserves

Stirley Community Farm
1 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Stocksmoor Common Nature Reserve
8 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Stoneycliffe Wood Nature Reserve
8 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Reserve information

Location
Northgate Road
Holmfirth
Yorkshire
HD9 6QN
Map reference
SE 148 129
Great for...
a family day out
Best time to visit
Mar - May
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
4.80 hectares
Access
Public and permissive footpaths. Contact the Trust for disabled access information
Walking information
Public and permissive footpaths. Please keep all dogs on leads.
Parking
Limited roadside parking available.
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01904 659570
info@ywt.org.uk

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Factsheets and guides for your visit

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